John Coltrane: The Lost Album review – a gift to the world

Fri, Jun 29, 2018, 07:00


Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album

John Coltrane



John Coltrane and his stellar quartet – pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones – were in the process of reinventing their artform when, on March 6th 1963, they made their way out to Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey to make this recently discovered recording.

The next day, they would be back with singer Johnny Hartman, and the next year, in the same studio, they would make history with the epochal Love Supreme, but somehow this particular session was never released.

Over the years, the master tapes were lost in one too many label mergers, but the Coltrane family still had the reference reels which the great saxophonist had brought home that night. And here they are, as priceless as a lost Renaissance masterwork, the glorious mono sound as pristine as the day it was recorded.

The seven tracks (plus seven more on the deluxe edition) include the only studio version of the iconic Impressions and two previously unknown originals so fresh they don’t even have names.

It may not be Coltrane’s greatest work, but it’s a good day’s work from one of the greatest bands in the history of recorded music and a gift to the world.